Mississippi State suffered a frustrating loss to Auburn Saturday at the hands of Payton Thorne, who had one of his best games in a Tigers uniform. The Bulldogs were beaten 27-14.

It looked like the injury to Will Rogers was more detrimental to the offense than people thought. Backup quarterback Mike Wright and the offense didn’t score a touchdown until the beginning of the fourth quarter.

After a game that may have been winnable for Mississippi State, the Bulldogs are now 4-4 with four games left.

Here’s how the team looks after Week 9:

Player of the Week: Zavion Thomas

Zavion Thomas was one of the few bright spots for the Bulldogs’ offense.

The sophomore wideout had a 112-yard game in terms of receiving and also had 1 touchdown. It’s not easy making plays when your starting quarterback is out with a shoulder injury, but Thomas did a great job.

Mississippi State’s leading receiver Lideatrick Griffin was stifled, and Thomas stepped up when the team needed it the most.

This loss will sting for a bit, but it has to be good to know that Mississippi State fans can rely on Thomas when the going gets tough.

Freshman of the Week: Kyle Ferrie

When the offense stalls out and isn’t able to score until the final quarter, odds are your kicker will be the one scoring points.

Kyle Ferrie walked on to Mississippi State as a recruit in the 2023 class and was responsible for seven of the Bulldogs’ 13 points. Ferrie went 2-for-2 on field goals with a long of 40 yards. He also hit an extra point after the team’s only touchdown of the game.

The offense may not have been at its best Saturday, but a reliable option at kicker is hard to find whether that’s in college or at the pro level.

Biggest Surprise: Bulldogs lack of composure on the road

The offense may still have been adjusting to having Mike Wright under center, but Mississippi State still struggled to get out of its own way.

The Bulldogs have been one of the least penalized teams in the SEC this season with only 5.5 penalties per game. Mississippi State had eight penalties called for 70 yards in the loss.

Even though there was a different quarterback playing, you would expect the offense to be more composed than it was at Jordan Hare Stadium. This is something that could really make things hard on the offense going forward.

Biggest Concern: Mississippi State secondary

Payton Thorne hadn’t thrown for more than 102 yards passing before Saturday’s game. The Mississippi State defense made him look like the 2021 version of himself back at Michigan State.

Thorne had 230 yards passing with 3 touchdowns and took apart the Mississippi State defense time and time again.

The secondary for Mississippi State has been poor this season, ranking 11th in the conference (238.5 ypg). Mississippi State should learn from Tennessee after the Vols made Kentucky QB Devin Leary look elite. If not, Leary could carve up another poor secondary in Week 10.

This could spell even more trouble further on down the road as Ole Miss is just a few weeks away.

Developing Trend: Offensive instability

If Mississippi State hadn’t scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, this game would have been 27-6.

The offense was looking like it could have reliable before Rogers went down with an injury. Whether or not that’s the reason the team has struggled offensively in its last few games, something will need to change.

Scoring seven and 13 points in games is not going to do you any good in the SEC or most conferences for that matter.

Wright has shown growth over the last two games, but something will need to be fixed soon before it’s too late.

First Impression about Week 10

Mississippi State can’t afford to lose too many more games if it wants to reach a bowl game. The Bulldogs return home to face Kentucky in Week 10.

Ray Davis is one of the better running backs in the SEC this season. Mississippi State allows the 9th-most rushing yards per game in the conference, which could not be a good sign of things to come.

Davis ranks second in the SEC in rushing yards this season with 781. Davis was limited to under 50 yards on the ground by Tennessee in Week 9, but it’s worth noting that the Vols have one of the better run defenses in the SEC.

Even if Davis is stopped, Leary could pick apart the secondary. The road to making a bowl game just got harder for Mississippi State.